Oklahoma has a question on the ballot that would attempt to limit the type of property that can be taxed. State Question 766 will exempt all intangible property, such as copyrights, patents and customer good will, from being taxed under current property tax laws. If passed, this question would protect the assets of creative businesses, such as game developers, from being double taxed. It would seem that many creative businesses are taking notice and speaking out in defense of the question.
PL Studios is the maker of the Digital Tutors series of training videos for a lot of technology that those in the games industry uses. PL Studios is also an Oklahoma City based business that is directly effected by this current state of double taxation. Piyush Patel recently had an op-ed published in the Daily Oklahoman in which he spoke out encouraging people to vote yes on this question.
State Question 766 prevents property taxation on intangible personal property, which affects the technology industry in Oklahoma and the apps and software your readers use every day. At PL Studios, we help people make movies and games. We pay our fair share of business and property taxes, but we need SQ 766 to pass. It would protect us, and other tech innovators, from potentially devastating new taxes on things like our software and training libraries, our animation tools, our technical know-how and even our name and reputation.
The prospect of taxing ideas and innovations as property could be a showstopper for tech companies looking to start in, or relocate to, Oklahoma. But it’s not just about tech companies. Personal tech would also be taxed. Every Oklahoman with a smartphone could owe property taxes on every app they download, every MP3 they listen to and every picture they’ve taken, every year.
It’s madness to think the state would tax software and apps, but the state Supreme Court ruled it could. The voters have this chance to protect themselves and our growing reputation as a tech-friendly state by voting yes on SQ 766.
I completely agree here. There is no reason why the state should be allowed to tax us for not only the profit made via our creative output but also for our creative output itself. So I will once again encourage all those who are looking at this question to vote “Yes” and protect innovators and creators in our state.